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Sharing economy for delivery grows with Menzies acquisition


Menzies Distribution, one of the pioneers of the sharing economy in the delivery sector, has made its third acquisition in the last 12 months, by buying Thistle Couriers of Aberdeen.
Thistle Couriers operates a nationwide same-day delivery service, shifting around 1,000 parcels overnight. It makes around 450 parcel collections per day, and has 45 staff and a fleet of more than 25 vehicles.

Historically, Menzies has been known as overnight newspaper delivery specialists. However, as an early adopter of many of the same principles underlying developments such as Asda toYou, Menzies is now exploiting the spare capacity in its vehicles and DCs to process and transport other goods too. It already handles parcel collection and delivery for B2C Europe and wnDirect as part of its stated aim to grow its ecommerce parcel business.

Thistle Couriers is particularly strong in the north of Scotland, one of those harder-to-reach areas for many carriers. Linking it into the existing Menzies network has the potential to close some of the service gaps shoppers in the far north of the country experience when shopping online.

Mark Cassie, managing director of Menzies Distribution, said: “The purchase of Thistle Couriers strengthens the infrastructure we’ve built with the acquisitions of AJG and Oban Express, and adds a time-critical, same-day service to our portfolio.

“With our existing geographical reach, especially in harder to access towns, we are able to deliver further and wider than many other players operating within this market – and I think this latest acquisition underlines our appeal to companies seeking cost-efficient deliveries to the North of Scotland. We believe that we can offer a compelling partnership proposition to the UK’s major parcel carriers.”

Another sharing economy development in delivery comes this week from Pedals Delivery, a London-based cycle courier service. Customers can hire cyclists for bespoke deliveries at a starting price of £6.70, up to £15 per hour for multiple drops. The company claims to be able to pick up and drop off across London in 90 minutes. This is the latest in a growing number of extra-fast delivery options in the capital, joining the likes of Amazon Prime Now, Doddle Runner, on the Dot, and Shutl.

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